A homeowner is fuming after two massive 70ft trees that he was told could not be cut down ended up crashing into his garden.
Kamran Chaudhary had approached Burnley Council in Lancashire with serious concerns about the safety of the high beeches – but was told they were protected and he was refused permission to have them removed.
But months later they crashed down on a swing set in his garden and across a public footpath.
The IT contractor claims his request to fell the trees, both protected by tree preservation orders, was refused because planners felt they complemented the area.
Bosses at the council are now looking into the matter and say they had acted on “available information and expert advice”.
Mr Chaudhary, 36, who owns and rents out the property on Deepdale Drive, to his parents, his brother, sister-in-law and nephews, lives around the corner in Patterdale Close.
He said: “It was like a big bang and a scrape and it woke us up.
“My wife and I were not sure what had happened. We looked around our house but couldn’t see anything.
“It wasn’t until the next morning when my brother texted me to say what had happened that we realised.
“I think the council has misjudged the safety of these trees immensely. They could have killed someone.
“I think they have gambled with my family’s life as well as the lives of the people who use the footpath.”
Mr Chaudhary said he had applied to remove the trees in January 2015 after noticing they had begun to lean and the bark was falling away.
He claims the expert found both trees to be dying and “dangerous” and council bosses asked Mr Chaudhary to withdraw his request and monitor the situation to see if the trees improved.
After no change he resubmitted his application to remove the trees in February last year before it was refused in August.
Just days after Mr Chaudhary met planners to discuss his appeal at the end of last month, both trees fell, one destroying his nephew’s swing set while the other fell through the fence and blocked a public footpath.
Mr Chaudhary said the footpath was used most days by children travelling to school.
He said the trees have severely damaged his garden and driveway, leaving a large hole around a metre deep.
Mr Chaudhary added: “You have got to be 100% sure when you make decisions like this because this is people’s safety we are talking about.
“They could have fallen at any moment and when they did fall you could see how rotten the roots were.”
Mr Chaudhary paid tree surgeons to remove the trees on Saturday.
A Burnley Council spokesman said: “We are looking into this matter, including checking land ownership and reviewing the application and consultants report that was submitted, and the Tree Preservation Order decision, and will then respond to Mr Chaudhary.
“The council has acted on the available information and expert advice at all stages throughout this matter.”
Top pic: SWNS